There are four major steps in risk assessment, which is the determination of the relationship between predicted exposure and adverse effects
The four steps are:
1. Hazard identification
2. Dose-response evaluation
3. Exposure assessment
4. Risk characterization
Toxicity is the inherent potential or capacity of a chemical (generally established from a dose-response relationship) to cause adverse effects in a living organism that seriously damages its structure or function or results in death. Toxicity testing (for humans: toxicity; for the environment: ecotoxicity) is usually carried out through controlled studies on living organisms, isolated tissues, cells or cellular components. Toxicity is generally influenced by the unique physico-chemical properties of the chemical. Examples of toxicity tests that are pertinent to human health hazards relate to skin and eye irritation, sensitization, carcinogenicity, reproduction toxicity. Examples of ecotoxicity tests that are pertinent to ecological hazards relate to acute and chronic toxicity to fish and algæ.
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